Ford Opens €11.6 Million Design Centre Expansion in Germany
- Ford opens €11.6 million Design Centre expansion in
Merkenich-Cologne, Germany; expanded centre features an open and fluid
design to help promote idea exchange
- Development includes a virtual reality "powerwall" for
improved real-time global communication; new milling machines to
produce precise clay models of new vehicles; and the redesign of
- Ford Design Centre expansion home to design and development team
with global responsibility for small and compact vehicles
COLOGNE, Germany, July 5, 2012 – Ford has opened an €11.6 million
expansion of its Design
Centre at Merkenich-Cologne, Germany.
The expanded centre features an open and fluid design that creates an
atmosphere for effective communication and idea exchange. Ford has
also installed a "powerwall" capable of projecting vehicle
and concept designs in three-dimensional and virtual environments;
invested in new milling
machines that use computer-aided design to create precise clay models
of new vehicles for aerodynamic wind tunnel testing; and redesigned
the existing studios.
"Outstanding design is one of the things that sets our brand
apart and excites our customers," said Martin Smith, executive
design director, Ford of Europe. "The Design Centre expansion
will provide employees with a highly-motivational environment in which
they are free to further develop Ford's design philosophy."
The expanded Ford Design Centre is home to the design and development
team with global responsibility for small and compact vehicles,
including Fiesta and Focus. The 3,000m2 expansion brings the Centre's
total area to 16,000m2.
"This powerwall will allow us to communicate in real time with
our colleague around the world – so we can exchange design ideas, show
progress and comment on the work in Australia, in North America and
here in Europe," Smith said.
Erika Tsubaki, supervisor, Design Strategy and Futuring, Ford of
Europe said: "The design of all of our vehicles has become
increasingly important for Ford on a global basis, so we were keen to
employ the same design language in the construction of the new Design
"Its distinctive and dynamic construction is reminiscent of a
boat, floating out of the centre, while the fluid interior brings our
different teams closer together."
The extension's open-plan design means there are no barriers between
the teams that work at the Centre, to foster an open and inclusive
atmosphere that is important to the design process.
"A design studio is not like a traditional office where people
sit alongside each other in rows of desks," said Serife Celebi,
design supervisor, Colour and Material Design, Ford of Europe.
"In a design studio, you need plenty of space and natural light
in order to view designs and concepts from different angles and
"The new wing features a glass façade and open-plan interior
designed to encourage people to interact more closely to help them
gain a better understanding of the design and development
The new wing is the largest single expansion of the Design Centre
since it was first constructed in 1968.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants
worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln.
The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit
Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing
Ford brand vehicles in 51 individual markets and employs approximately
66,000 employees. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford of
Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 22
manufacturing facilities, including joint ventures. The first Ford
cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company
was founded. European production started in 1911
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